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Posts Tagged ‘Working Woman’

I’ve got a confession to make. When I first discovered that Miguel and I were pregnant, I was a tiny bit apprehensive. Okay, I was worried. It’s not that I didn’t want to have kids, I have always wanted a family. Both Miguel and I love being around children, and before Max was even a glimmer in our eyes, we spent way too much time wondering what parenthood and our kid(s) might look like.  But when the moment of truth came, and I saw that little positive sign on the fourth white test stick, I got scared. I felt this fear that I’d lose myself, that I’d never be able to attain my career goals, that my time for me and only me (the redheaded, only-child Leo) was over.
I had nightmares of myself as a future burnt-out mom: tired, with bags under my eyes, ragged hair and schlumpy sweatpants, screaming at my toddler(s) to pipe down because I couldn’t hear my telenovela. Voices of moms I knew echoed through my head, “My husband and I NEVER go out anymore…The movies? You mean, go see a film in the theater?! HA!” I had daydreams of myself mopping the floor in tears awaiting rescue from a Rosie the Riveter type – a superheroine who’d whisk me away to the wonderful world of the working woman.

I lost sleep, fretting, making lists in my mind of what I could do to avoid this awful fate. Then it dawned on me. I’ll just flee South, where family and string cheese and warm weather await. Where I’ll have help and love and unconditional support everyday. Where I’ll be able to avoid the question on the tip of every New Yorker’s tongue,  “So, what are you working on these days?”

And that’s exactly what I did.

I took one last freelance gig, made some money and took off indefinitely.  When I arrived in Oaxaca, I didn’t know what was ahead of me or when I would be working next. And it didn’t matter. It was all about family now. (I wonder if this is what First Lady Michelle Obama felt like when she left her law career behind and stepped ever-so-gracefully into the role of White HouseWife and Mother extraordinaire.)

And so, for the past four and a half months, I’ve been immersed in the work of being a mother. Multitasking, nurturing, feeding, teaching. I can’t begin to explain how fortunate I feel to have the chance to do this. My kid is laughing belly laughs, rolling over and sucking two thumbs at a time – and I’ve been lucky enough to witness and relish every minute of it.  Until now.

Last week marked my first official week back to work. I’m teaching two media production courses (in Spanish!) at La Universidad Mesoamericana. I’ve also recently started shooting a few social interest documentary projects that just might end up developing into something bigger. It feels good to be working again. And each time I kiss my son goodbye and head out to class or a shoot, I realize how silly I was to have thought that having a baby would have meant the end of me.

I never lost myself.  My son is an addition to my life – a wonderful one.  I do spend tons of time taking care of him, but I’m still able to blow dry my hair, go out on mini-dates with my husband and find time for me and my career. If anything, I’ve found that the little guy has been a real inspiration for me to keep pushing forward. Now it’s not only about me and my ego – following my dreams is modeling good behavior.

Slumdog MillionaireLooking back on those first days of my pregnancy, I remember the moment when worry started to wane in favor of joy. I was (where else?) at the movies, watching Slumdog Millionaire by myself – well, with baby actually. During the previews, I sent Miguel a text message, the first one from the both of us. I also promised my son that this was the first of many movies, not excluding my own, that I would be happy to take him to see on the big screen.

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